Legal Clinics—Renew and Refresh

San Diego (February 4, 2019) – Thanks to the generous in-kind support of Fish and Richardson, LLP in Del Mar, USD School of Law’s Legal Clinics have been refreshed and remodeled to create an inviting environment to welcome pro bono clients, student interns, and staff attorneys to the ten direct-client-service clinics located in Alcala West. In addition to new office furnishings, the law school further enhanced the space with new paint, carpet and structural upgrades to make the facility more accessible for mobility-challenged clients. Creating a professional legal office for clients to visit is just the first step taken by the clinics in order to improve the overall educational capacity and client experience at USD. 

The legal clinics have received funding for a new case management system. The new system will allow lawyers and interns to access client records and information through a secure cloud-based data-storage-system providing the clinic’s legal teams increased flexibility and functionality to work on cases and manage client’s records with complete security, efficiency, and accuracy.  The new case management system will be an essential upgrade for the clinics; the system will also improve communication between service providers and clinical clients.  Thanks to key supporters, USD’s legal clinics are moving forward to better serve the ever-growing needs of the San Diego community, including U.S. military veterans, immigration applicants, small business entrepreneurs, and state and federal tax payers—just to name a few.  

During the week of January 16, USD School of Law co-sponsored a Class Action Mastery Forum featuring experts in this field of litigation.  Highlights included panels comprised of eight judges from the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California and one of the leading experts in class actions, Elizabeth Cabraser.  Robert Muth, Director of the Legal Clinics, joined with Professor Robert Fellmeth, Director of the Center for Public Interest Law, the Honorable John B. Owens, Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Dean Stephen C. Ferruolo on a panel analyzing recent trends in the designation of cy pres fund awards. 

On the day before the conference opened, Professor Muth received notice that the legal clinics would be the worthy recipient of a cy pres award in excess of $200,000.  The funds stem from the Urethanes Antitrust Indirect Purchasers Action pending in the San Francisco Superior Court.  The cy pres award will be directed to support the Education & Disability Clinic and the Immigration Clinic in compliance with the Court’s order.   Raising awareness of the work being done at USD School of Law through the three public policy centers (CAI, CPIL & EPIC) as well as the excellent services being offered by the legal clinics, were motivating reasons for USD School of Law to collaborate with Western Alliance Bank and HB Litigation to host the Class Action Mastery Forum. It is our hope that more defense and plaintiff firms consider programs at USD School of Law when they have the opportunity to designate cy pres funds resulting from their class action cases.

Read more about how to designate USD School of Law as a class action cy pres recipient.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 36th nationally among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 29th nationally in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

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